buildkite-agent start

The Buildkite Agent’s start command is used to manually start an agent and register it with Buildkite.

Starting an Agent

Usage:

   buildkite-agent start [arguments...]

Description:

   When a job is ready to run it will call the "bootstrap-script"
   and pass it all the environment variables required for the job to run.
   This script is responsible for checking out the code, and running the
   actual build script defined in the pipeline.

   The agent will run any jobs within a PTY (pseudo terminal) if available.

Example:

   $ buildkite-agent start --token xxx

Options:

   --config value                         Path to a configuration file [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_CONFIG]
   --name value                           The name of the agent [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_NAME]
   --priority value                       The priority of the agent (higher priorities are assigned work first) [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_PRIORITY]
   --acquire-job value                    Start this agent and only run the specified job, disconnecting after it's finished [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_ACQUIRE_JOB]
   --disconnect-after-job                 Disconnect the agent after running a job [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_DISCONNECT_AFTER_JOB]
   --disconnect-after-idle-timeout value  If no jobs have come in for the specified number of seconds, disconnect the agent (default: 0) [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_DISCONNECT_AFTER_IDLE_TIMEOUT]
   --cancel-grace-period value            The number of seconds a canceled or timed out job is given to gracefully terminate and upload its artifacts (default: 10) [$BUILDKITE_CANCEL_GRACE_PERIOD]
   --shell value                          The shell command used to interpret build commands, e.g /bin/bash -e -c (default: "/bin/bash -e -c") [$BUILDKITE_SHELL]
   --tags value                           A comma-separated list of tags for the agent (e.g. "linux" or "mac,xcode=8") [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_TAGS]
   --tags-from-host                       Include tags from the host (hostname, machine-id, os) [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_TAGS_FROM_HOST]
   --tags-from-ec2-meta-data value        Include the default set of host EC2 meta-data as tags (instance-id, instance-type, and ami-id) [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_TAGS_FROM_EC2_META_DATA]
   --tags-from-ec2-meta-data-paths value  Include additional tags fetched from EC2 meta-data via tag & path suffix pairs, e.g "tag_name=path/to/value" [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_TAGS_FROM_EC2_META_DATA_PATHS]
   --tags-from-ec2-tags                   Include the host's EC2 tags as tags [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_TAGS_FROM_EC2_TAGS]
   --tags-from-gcp-meta-data value        Include the default set of host Google Cloud instance meta-data as tags (instance-id, machine-type, preemptible, project-id, region, and zone) [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_TAGS_FROM_GCP_META_DATA]
   --tags-from-gcp-meta-data-paths value  Include additional tags fetched from Google Cloud instance meta-data via tag & path suffix pairs, e.g "tag_name=path/to/value" [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_TAGS_FROM_GCP_META_DATA_PATHS]
   --tags-from-gcp-labels                 Include the host's Google Cloud instance labels as tags [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_TAGS_FROM_GCP_LABELS]
   --wait-for-ec2-tags-timeout value      The amount of time to wait for tags from EC2 before proceeding (default: 10s) [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_WAIT_FOR_EC2_TAGS_TIMEOUT]
   --wait-for-gcp-labels-timeout value    The amount of time to wait for labels from GCP before proceeding (default: 10s) [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_WAIT_FOR_GCP_LABELS_TIMEOUT]
   --git-clone-flags value                Flags to pass to the "git clone" command (default: "-v") [$BUILDKITE_GIT_CLONE_FLAGS]
   --git-clean-flags value                Flags to pass to "git clean" command (default: "-ffxdq") [$BUILDKITE_GIT_CLEAN_FLAGS]
   --git-fetch-flags value                Flags to pass to "git fetch" command (default: "-v --prune") [$BUILDKITE_GIT_FETCH_FLAGS]
   --git-clone-mirror-flags value         Flags to pass to the "git clone" command when used for mirroring (default: "-v --mirror") [$BUILDKITE_GIT_CLONE_MIRROR_FLAGS]
   --git-mirrors-path value               Path to where mirrors of git repositories are stored [$BUILDKITE_GIT_MIRRORS_PATH]
   --git-mirrors-lock-timeout value       Seconds to lock a git mirror during clone, should exceed your longest checkout (default: 300) [$BUILDKITE_GIT_MIRRORS_LOCK_TIMEOUT]
   --bootstrap-script value               The command that is executed for bootstrapping a job, defaults to the bootstrap sub-command of this binary [$BUILDKITE_BOOTSTRAP_SCRIPT_PATH]
   --build-path value                     Path to where the builds will run from [$BUILDKITE_BUILD_PATH]
   --hooks-path value                     Directory where the hook scripts are found [$BUILDKITE_HOOKS_PATH]
   --plugins-path value                   Directory where the plugins are saved to [$BUILDKITE_PLUGINS_PATH]
   --timestamp-lines                      Prepend timestamps on each line of output. [$BUILDKITE_TIMESTAMP_LINES]
   --health-check-addr value              Start an HTTP server on this addr:port that returns whether the agent is healthy, disabled by default [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_HEALTH_CHECK_ADDR]
   --no-pty                               Do not run jobs within a pseudo terminal [$BUILDKITE_NO_PTY]
   --no-ssh-keyscan                       Don't automatically run ssh-keyscan before checkout [$BUILDKITE_NO_SSH_KEYSCAN]
   --no-command-eval                      Don't allow this agent to run arbitrary console commands, including plugins [$BUILDKITE_NO_COMMAND_EVAL]
   --no-plugins                           Don't allow this agent to load plugins [$BUILDKITE_NO_PLUGINS]
   --no-plugin-validation                 Don't validate plugin configuration and requirements [$BUILDKITE_NO_PLUGIN_VALIDATION]
   --no-local-hooks                       Don't allow local hooks to be run from checked out repositories [$BUILDKITE_NO_LOCAL_HOOKS]
   --no-git-submodules                    Don't automatically checkout git submodules [$BUILDKITE_NO_GIT_SUBMODULES, $BUILDKITE_DISABLE_GIT_SUBMODULES]
   --metrics-datadog                      Send metrics to DogStatsD for Datadog [$BUILDKITE_METRICS_DATADOG]
   --metrics-datadog-host value           The dogstatsd instance to send metrics to via udp (default: "127.0.0.1:8125") [$BUILDKITE_METRICS_DATADOG_HOST]
   --log-format value                     The format to use for the logger output (default: "text") [$BUILDKITE_LOG_FORMAT]
   --spawn value                          The number of agents to spawn in parallel (default: 1) [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_SPAWN]
   --cancel-signal value                  The signal to use for cancellation (default: "SIGTERM") [$BUILDKITE_CANCEL_SIGNAL]
   --redacted-vars value                  Pattern of environment variable names containing sensitive values (default: "*_PASSWORD", "*_SECRET", "*_TOKEN") [$BUILDKITE_REDACTED_VARS]
   --token value                          Your account agent token [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_TOKEN]
   --endpoint value                       The Agent API endpoint (default: "https://agent.buildkite.com/v3") [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_ENDPOINT]
   --no-http2                             Disable HTTP2 when communicating with the Agent API. [$BUILDKITE_NO_HTTP2]
   --debug-http                           Enable HTTP debug mode, which dumps all request and response bodies to the log [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_DEBUG_HTTP]
   --no-color                             Don't show colors in logging [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_NO_COLOR]
   --debug                                Enable debug mode [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_DEBUG]
   --experiment value                     Enable experimental features within the buildkite-agent [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_EXPERIMENT]
   --profile value                        Enable a profiling mode, either cpu, memory, mutex or block [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_PROFILE]
   --tags-from-ec2                        Include the host's EC2 meta-data as tags (instance-id, instance-type, and ami-id) [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_TAGS_FROM_EC2]
   --tags-from-gcp                        Include the host's Google Cloud instance meta-data as tags (instance-id, machine-type, preemptible, project-id, region, and zone) [$BUILDKITE_AGENT_TAGS_FROM_GCP]


Setting Tags

Each agent has tags (in 2.x we called this metadata) which can be used to group and target the agents in your build pipelines. This way you're free to dynamically scale your agents and target them based on their capabilities rather than maintaining a static list.

To set an agent’s tags you can set it in the configuration file:

tags="docker=true,ruby2=true"

or with the --tags command line flag:

buildkite-agent start --tags "docker=true" --tags "ruby2=true"

or with the BUILDKITE_AGENT_TAGS an environment variable:

env BUILDKITE_AGENT_TAGS="docker=true,ruby2=true" buildkite-agent start

Agent Targeting

Once you've started agents with tags you can target them in the build pipeline using agent query rules.

Here's an example of targeting agents that are running with the tag postgres and value of 1.9.4:

Agent Selector showing a single match

To do this from uploaded pipeline.yml you would do:

steps:
  - command: "script.sh"
    agents:
      postgres: "1.9.4"

You can also match for any agent with a postgres tag by omitting the value after the = sign, or by using *, for example:

Agent Selector showing a single match

To do this from an uploaded pipeline.yml you would do:

steps:
  - command: "script.sh"
    agents:
      postgres: '*'

Partial wildcard matching (e.g. postgres=1.9* or postgres=*1.9) is not yet supported.

The Queue Tag

The queue tag works differently from other tags, and can be used for isolating jobs and agents. See the agent queues documentation for more information about using queues.

Sourcing Tags from Amazon Web Services

You can load an Agent's tags from the underlying Amazon EC2 instance using --tags-from-ec2-tags for the instance tags and --tags-from-ec2 to load the EC2 metadata (e.g instance name and machine type).

Sourcing Tags from Google Cloud

You can load an Agent's tags from the underlying Google Cloud metadata using --tags-from-gcp.